How exactly does the Holy Spirit help us to grow in holiness?

If our goal is holiness, how does revelation, our passions, virtue and grace; especially the gift of the Holy Spirit , help us reach that goal?


Regarding the roles of revelation, the passions, virtue, grace and the Holy Spirit in our quest for holiness, you will find much to help you regarding this question in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, but let me answer it from the perspective of a Trappist monk. A few days ago, Fr. Edmund began mass by pointing out that, in the gospel for the day, Jesus asks the invalid: “Do you want to get well?”, and the invalid, proceeding to a detailed explanation of why he can’t get into the healing waters of the “Sheep Gate” pool, never actually answers Jesus’ question. I thought, “Is it possible Jesus has asked me personally – Do you want to get well? – and I never gave him an answer? But I really do want to grow in holiness. This is my deepest desire.

A little later, at a community meeting, a brother sat silently, and after a while dozed off. I was angry at the brother who never speaks at meetings, but remembering what is revealed about Jesus’ gentle solicitude for me: “Do you want to be well?” I imagined Jesus saying the same to this brother suffering from indifference, and was able to let go of my rancor. Later, grateful that a certain burden of anger had been lifted from my heart, I had the distinct impression of it being lifted under the influence of a powerful set of wings and, for an instant, had a vivid experience of the nearness of God’s Holy Spirit whom I realized had visited me that morning.

It is the beauty of the life of a Trappist to find the mysteries of revelation and the spiritual life made very real and close to us in circumstances like those I’ve described here.